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Monday, April 4, 2016

Maybe there is a PURPOSE for MS?

                                                                    

Whew! What a month!


My MS AWARENESS CAMPAIGN may have ended, but I 

have not.

I truly believe that purpose is what life is all about. Without 

purpose we really do not have much reason to get out of 

bed, do we?

During the month of March, I wrote 31 blogs in 31 days. 

Maybe not consecutively, but there are 31 blogs to my 

credit. The reason I did this? The purpose?

Because I can no longer physically participate the many 

wonderful MS walks, runs, swims, etc. by way of paying it 

forward, 
I decided to offer comfort through personal 
advice and information. Monetarily I donated proceeds of 

my book sales (with the assistance of many, many 

thoughtful contributors) to National Multiple Sclerosis 

Society. The amount of our donation? 


                  DRUM ROLL.................


                                                  


With a combination of book sales and personal donations 

(anonymous as well as identified), I am putting a check in 

the mail to for the amount of $100.00!!!! (Okay, I know I 

have over done the exclamation marks. I apologize to all of

my author friends and former students.)


Because that was my initial goal, I am very pleased.

More happened to me and for me during this personal 

campaign.

1. I have been asked by NMSS to start a Marion County 

MS support group chapter. Am I excited, nervous, 

anxious? You bet. I will keep you posted on that. (Not my 

emotions, but the progress of said chapter.)


2. I have grown to enjoy blogging. I actually despised the 

activity prior to this; but my documented readership has 

grown tremendously and I know there are more views 

than actual followers. If I am filling a need by spreading 

awareness,
 this has been more than worth it.


3. I have made new friends! This humbles me. Thank you 

all for hanging out with me.


4. I put MS Awareness out there for the public with an 

appearance on the nightly news (If you do not live within 

my geographical viewing area, I will post a link soon). 

Mention of my campaign has appeared in at least three 

state newspapers. I have booked two speaking 

engagements in Marion County. Contacts have been 

made and people are thinking about multiple sclerosis.

Looks like March held a specific purpose for me.


And here is where I get to plug someone else's book.


I read Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life as part of a 

sermon series offered in my church several years ago.


                                           


Following our congregational study of this book, I decided 

that this would be the perfect Christmas gift for several 

people on my list. I don't know if they read it, but I hope so.

The lessons learned from reading this have stayed with 

me 
for along time.

I do not remember the exact date of this study at First 

United Methodist Church (now Life United Methodist 

Church) in Fairmont, WV, but it coincided with my MS 

diagnosis in some way.

The subtitle haunts me: What on Earth Am I Here For?


Yesterday was further proof of Gd's purpose.

I always attend the last of our three Sunday services, but 

for some reason I decided to try the middle time slot. I 

was to find a nearly empty sanctuary. The 11:15 service is 

usually packed. I had been under the impression that 

10:00 was equally populated.


Pastor Larry announced prior to Communion that he 

would 
actually be leaving after performing  a very special 

baptism. 
Pastor Clyde would provide the sermon, but 

Pastor Larry had been personally requested for the baptism.


When Larry asked for Julie to come forward, my church 

friend looked sincerely confused. She is actually a very 

active  part of our small group team. Why did she need to 

come forward 
 to be baptized? Did she need a do-over?


Well, it wasn't her receiving the sacrament. 


Her husband Bobby was the one being baptized. Much to 

Julie's unexpected surprise. she had no idea that Bobby 

had planned this.

And I had no idea that Julie's husband was the brother to  

a dear friend of mine from  years ago. He had actually 

been my neighbor during a very dark time in my life. His 

sister had even lived with him for a brief time.



DeeDee died young. Far too young. Dee had lived with 

congestive heart disease, but made the best of her 

time on earth. 

She was a crazy one, that DeeDee. We 

served side-by-side as officers in our local VFW Ladies 

Auxiliary. We were drinking buddies and confidants in 

different  
aspects of life. Her daughter Jessica became a 

very important part of my teaching curriculum by serving 

in the US Army, overseas and in actual combat; following 

in her father's footsteps. Between sibling Jessica and her 

sister Danielle, they provided DeeDee and her husband 

with several beautiful grandchildren. DeeDee loved her 

step children (twins David and Peter) with the same 

passion as she bestowed upon her biological children. 

DeeDee and Bill even fostered a number of homeless 

teens.


I think of DeeDee often. She had a purpose. That purpose 

was to live her limited days surrounded by LIFE and 

LIVING.



I just didn't make the connection with Julie. In fact, I had 

no idea that Julie's husband was Dee's brother. I didn't 

even remember possibly knowing Julie in a prior life 

chapter.

When Bobby met his wife at the alter, I knew there was 

reason I was here at this service time. Pastor Clyde's 

sermon confirmed that. He spoke of the Un's of Easter,

the first begin the Unexpected.

Everything about this Sunday was rather 

unexpected.
 There was a purpose  for my presence at the 

10:00 service.


So, as you go about your new week, think of purpose.

What is your purpose?

There is a reason that we are afflicted with multiple 

sclerosis. There was a reason for DeeDee's situation.

I do not proclaim to know the reason nor do I profess to 

be an expert on actions of God. I just know that March has

touched me in many ways and that DeeDee is looking 

down on her brother right now and nodding in approval.

And she is smiling her silly, lopsided smile that I was there 

to 
witness his commitment.


Oh, my...

Tell me to get off my pulpit!

MS Awareness Month may be over, but I am not going 

anywhere.

I have a purpose. (Not to be confused with Steve Martin's

special purpose in The Jerk. Love that movie.)


Okay, I will stop preaching and leave that to the experts.

Have a wonderful day. The sun is shining in Monongah, 

West Virginia.


Lisa
 











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